Shilo, Manitoba — Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI) were the first to try out a new light armoured vehicle variant that provides better protection against improvised explosive devices (IED).
Once the soldiers have finished training on the new LAV Remote Weapons Station (RWS), the LAV RWSs will be shipped to Afghanistan for the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).
“We’re still working out the bugs, like any other new weapons system we have in the CF. There will be a learning curve, but by the time we start training the first troops, they should be worked out,” said Sergeant Sheldon Quinn of C-Company 2 PPCLI.
Crew can fire from inside vehicle
This LAV RWS will replace the Bison and give the crew better protection from IED strikes with additional armour in an up-armour package. The RWS allows the crew to fire from inside the vehicle and ensures that nobody is exposed if there is a blast or enemy fire.
The RWS can be mounted with a .50 cal heavy machine gun or a C6 general purpose machine-gun. The stations fire from inside the vehicle and are controlled by what looks like a video game controller. There are four monitors, one for the gunner, one for the commander, one for the driver and one for the crew in the back, to view the action going on outside. It also has eight smoke grenade launchers mounted on the front of the RWS.
There are many other new features on the LAV RWS. Inside the vehicle, there are new crew seats and storage compartments on the interior walls. On the exterior, there are front and rear view cameras for the driver; a new Platt swing mount that replaces the pintle mount; and a new type of wire cutters mounted on the front.
Instructors practice firing with LAV RWS
During the training, the soldiers fired the .50 cal, C6 and smoke grenades from the LAV RWS. They fired in the static position and while the vehicle was moving.
The soldiers will be the future instructors of 2 PPCLI troops and the Provincial Reconstruction Team on the LAV RWS.
“We want to be proficient as possible so we are up on the drills and when we pass it on to the troops, they will be good to go also,” said Sgt Quinn.
Rheinmetall Canada Inc. is the designer of the Nanuk RWS. In Inuktitut ‘Nanuk’ means polar bear — a fierce animal for a fierce weapons system.
Article and photos by MCpl Bern LeBlanc, Army News, CFB Shilo